Allow students to recognize that when they post information to a social network, watch a video online, or simply search for information on a search engine, some of that data is collected, and they reveal what topics are currently on their mind. When a topic is quickly growing in popularity it is often said to be trending, but there are many different trends or patterns they might find in this data, including historical trends. These patterns might help them to identify, understand, and predict how our world is changing.

Students can use the Google Trends tool in order to observe historical search data. They will need to identify interesting trends or patterns in their findings and will attempt to explain those trends, based on their own experience or through further research online


Students will be able to:



Activity Guides

Getting Started

Last period the students looked at the ways big data is changing lots of fields. In this lesson, the students will explore what we can learn from data and how to use data to tell a story.

Activity: Examining a Trend in Data

Open the Exploring Trends Activity Guide and read the summary at the top.

Looking over Google Trends, ask the student to find a trend or set of trends that they think is particularly interesting or personally relevant and try to tell a story from the data. Write down:

Follow the instructions in the Activity Guide and write down answers to the questions inside the Activity Guide in the format of the students' choice.

Wrap Up

Discuss the following with the students

Share what you've done on your activity guide. What trend did you find interesting and why? How did you interpret the data? Are there any other ways the data could be interpreted? What would you investigate further?


The teacher should collect and grade the activity guides or have the students do a peer review on the activity guides that they have completed.

Standards Alignment